Choire Mhuilinn

Choire Mhuilinn

Mingary Castle with the remains of Choire Mhuilinn in the foreground

This picture looks westwards along the southern shore of Ardnamurchan towards Mingary Castle.  The castle is still sheathed in scaffolding as work continues on its restoration, but this entry is less about the castle than the odd piles of stone that can be seen in the foreground of the photograph.  They are the remains of a small settlement, hundreds of years old, which, along with about twenty-five others, was once settled by members of Clan MacIain.  The name of this particular clachan is Choire Mhuilinn, choire meaning corrie in the sense of a hollow or depression in the land, and mhuilinn meaning mill.  Choire Mhuilinn was cleared of its inhabitants in 1828 to make way for an extensive farm which would be based at Mingary.  Many of its people left the area, while the others were scattered between those townships which were not being cleared but reorganised into croft holdings.

This picture was taken the other day in clear November sunshine.  Walking amongst the stones was very moving, as they were the remains of people’s lives, their homes, their byres and field walls, their fields, their vegetable gardens and their children’s playgrounds.  And, standing beside the houses, one had to envy the view their owners had from their front doors.

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